Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.... not Christmas, but Halloween! Not sure why, though. Maybe because of the decorating and the CANDY. Yep. That's why. Every year I say to myself, "October 1st I am putting up all of my Halloween decorations", and every year I am frantically decorating the DAY OF my Pumpkin Carving Party. This year that would be Friday. I now have 3 whole days to enjoy my decorations before I take them down and pack them up. *Sigh* I have BIG plans, people. I just need to start earlier. I should have become a nurse practitioner...would have needed to start earlier than now. But then, when would I have time for these decorations. God knows what He is doing. But I digress...
Here are some of my Halloween decorations. I try to add to them every year. Not big on the scary, horror, creepy. Do like the gross though. Apparently so does my mom. She sent me this recipe for Fish Eye Punch that in turn sent me on an odyssey for tapioca pearls. That's right. Thanks to my friend Joyce who knew just where to find them. Health food grocery.

I just wish they would have floated! That's red colored Karo syrup dripping down the sides!
This is me a' la Audrey Hepburn Breakfast at Tiffany's...with a Ginger Ale can, crumpled napkin, Skull wine glass and no rose. I think that's a spot of black spray paint on my arm. Hopelessly classy.
Front porch decorations
Fraidy Cat is a southern term. I love it!!
Along with 'Hidey Hole'
As in "Don't be a Fraidy Cat! It's just a tornado. We'll just get in the Hidey Hole and wait it out!"

Frankie's eyes and teeth glow in the dark!
Gigantic spider and web...glows under black light too! Think I'll make egg sacs for next year!
Pretty spooky coming out of the mulch and weeds. Ha!
The entire scene...
The whole package

On to the inside!
Photocopied this photos and added the googly eyes!

The entry hall
Across the front window
Beverage table...

Other stuff

I like glittery skulls

spider table for the desserts...

Main food table

Back Porch where everyone hangs out....
Curt rebuilt this piece that is apparently from a church!

Paper lantern and Halloween curtains on the back porch
I love this Black paper owl face, but it's a booger to store
Back porch in the daytime
Pumpkins that were carved

The Vine's were The Coneheads...They brought PBR and fried eggs!
The Hanskutt's were Empty Nesters!

We had a great time with good food, drink and awesome friends!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Foodie Friday with Baked Spaghetti

MMMM! I love this Baked spaghetti. My youngest angel won't touch it because he saw an onion in it. *deep sigh* We are often held onion hostage in this house. He is very remorseful and apologizes profusely for upsetting dinner plans. My husband chimes in "Don't apologize just eat it." in the nicest Daddy way possible----Really. Somehow he is getting nourishment. That boy's feet have bypassed his older brother--a 10 1/2. Lord.

Now where was I? Baked Spaghetti!!! Let's get it on! This is easy and it freezes GREAT! I made one recipe and split it into 2 pans.
Grab your stock pot and put it next to you while your chop and plop! your ingredients into your pot. (oooo, didn't mean the bad rhyming)
To your stock pot add:
1 29 oz.can of diced tomatoes
1 29 oz. can tomato sauce
I do all of my chopping at once...
1/2 cup diced onions

1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
2 cloves of garlic, diced (ok, I use 3) If you mash the clove with the flat side of a knife, it is easier to peel off the husk. don't use that jarred garlic either! No cheating! It just isn't garlicy enough!
Oh, heck, go ahead...people are busy...they have toddlers and coupons...

1/4 cup chopped fresh Cilantro---you can use parsley, but I like the "pepperyness" of cilantro.
All of this should be swimming around in your stock pot!
Next the dry ingredients
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons House Seasoning (make in bulk and use for everything...recipe follows)
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 small bay leaves
Add all to you stock pot and simmer for about an hour!! All these ingredients will be family related by then and taste unbelievable! In the mean time...
Using a large skillet, cook 1 1/2 pounds ground beef until no longer pink.
OK...this is pink. cook it longer...Drain off the fat. Add to your stock pot.
This simmers for 20 more minutes...lets the hamburger get to know the sauce...

In another pot boil some water for your 8 oz. of angel hair pasta. I used Whole wheat this time and really, it wasn't bad! Much healthier for you too! I like that.
While that is cooking, clean the kitchen...
It would have been easier if my kitchen was cleaned up to begin with.
Pasta is cooked and drained and ready for layering...
In these photos, I am using a smaller pan because I split the recipe--for my friend, Louise. Hi Louise! I love you! If you are making one recipe, use a deep 9x13. It will make a hearty meal!
Spread a ladle full of saucy goodness in the bottom of your casserole pan. Then a layer of pasta.
Top with about 1 cup of shredded Monterey Jack/Cheddar cheese
no pic of the layering...lazy. Continue with the layering ending with a sauce layer.
Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
Sprinkle 1 cup MontereyJack/Cheddar cheese on top. Add a few shakes of parmesan if you like and return to the oven cooking until the cheese is melted.
Serve with garlic bread and a salad!!!
Recipe for House seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix and store in an airtight container
This is what I made for Louise...cause she likes 'em and cause she just got out of the hospital...
This is the BEST brownie mix by far. I know. I have eaten them all. However, as my good friend Dani will testify to...the mix is about 4 very large tablespoons over what is needed for an actual recipe and needs to be removed with nobody looking. And eaten. Quickly.
Did you know brownies cut very easily with no tearing if you use a plastic knife?
Enjoy your day and smile at someone you don't know, people! Be friendly.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


So I was whippin' through the grocery store today on a mission to get ingredients for dinner tonight. NOT like grocery shopping so you think I would only do it once a week. No, that's not how it is. *sigh* Anywho, I was on my way to grab some cheese and I pass a lady who has her toddler in the cart and a 3 ring binder open with coupons! "Wow! Aren't you organized!" I say as a pass and grab 2 cheddar/monteray jack for my baked spaghetti. "I am trying!" she says politely. So I think, Hey! I know someone who has an entire blog dedicated to couponing! Maybe this nice girl would like to check it out! Why do I talk to people in grocery stores? I don't know. I want everyone to be friends. I didn't want her to think I was weird, but what the heck? So I walked up to her in the parking lot with my blog address written on a scrap of paper, introduced myself and told her to check out Live Love Coupons--one of the ladies I met while standing in line for Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman. Maybe she could find some tips! Her name is Carrie!
Hi Carrie! Thanks for letting me take your picture. And accost you in the parking lot. And write a blog about meeting you. I check out coupons now and again, but never get into it fully. I really should. I love a deal! Guess I'll put that on my list---if I can find an empty spot.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

School Bus Figure 8 and then some...

I wasn't sure--until last night--how a large lumbering school bus could manage a Figure 8. But now I know for sure. I also didn't know you could drive a car 'Balls to the Wall' hauling a boat on a trailer around a track! This is The Punisher! Complete with working blue lights!
I know how that's done now too thanks to the Citrus County Speedway races that I and and my family attended last night! Whew...I haven't laughed that hard in a while all while inhaling copious amounts of spent rubber and grit flying at me off the racetrack! My poor camera!
Look at that grit! Our poor lungs! My contact lenses are still mad at me! We looked like coal miners by the time we left :)
We could have stayed in the air conditioned "sky box",
but that would have muffled the experience and prevented the bus exhaust and pieces of who-knows-what from flying up and pelting us every time they screeched into turn #1!!!

There was no danger of anything flying off and hitting us in this race.
H was the lone contestant in the lawnmower race!
He came in first and last! Money is money!!
This is a participant in the "Suitcase Race"
Notice he is wearing a g-String and a pink bra. After each addition of women's clothing, the drivers ran back to their cars and burned rubber around the track only to screech to a stop, jump out and don another article of ladies attire. The first one to complete the outfit and the corresponding laps, Won a crown, sash and CASH!
The bus drivers drove their behemoth's with stealthy precision! No roll-overs or major loss of metal! There is just something inherently hysterical about watching normally safety conscious vehicles, haul ass around a race track trying to cut each other off and bumper bumping to try and get the inside turn! This was my favorite and she won the first race!
This one was a close second... heh.
Didn't get a good photo of "Shaggin' Wagon", but it wins a close 2nd on name alone.
This guy won the 1st race, but had to get a rear lift off the track... I needed one of those after the last triathlon I ran.
The boat trailer races were last and for good reason! They were the wildest by a long shot!
Crap flying off in all directions! Wheels whipping off and rolling at top speed across the track!
Boat trailers flipping, sparks flying and the cars pulling them still keep going at top speed!
This boat trailer cracked off the car and the trailing car slammed right through the hull of the boat...another car's trailer clipped it on the way by!
This is the wrecked boat's namesake...Diane!
The boys got a good look through the hull before it was hauled away...yea, we went down on the track...

We had such a great time! The kids chose this trip over a trip to Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando! Hey...School bus races are only 3 times a year. See you in Citrus County on October 30.